Glossybox: June 2014

I took a bit of a holiday right at the end of June, beginning of July, so I’m a bit late posting about my June Glossybox.  The June box is all about Summer, as you might expect.  The items in the box have all been selected to help you get that gorgeous, effortless Summer glow quickly and without a lot of products involved.  June is also the last month that there will be a printed magazine in the box because they switched to an online version instead.  This switch is kind of nice because it allows them to add videos and more information than in the print version.  And unlike the print version, they’ll be able to update it and add information all month long.

The June box had four full sized products, which I think it great and the other product was a decent sized sample too.  I love it when they include the full sized stuff because I really feel like I’m getting good value, plus, you have enough of something to actually see if it works and you like it.  Since I’ve been Glossyboxing for about a year now, I also got a special little treat: a Green & Black’s Organic Dark Chocolate Bar.  The bar was not full size, but big enough to enjoy and have a little treat.  I like or at least can use all of the items this month, so this seemed like a decent box to me.

So Susan Cosmetics Universal Blush
So Susan Cosmetics Universal Blush

So Susan Cosmetics, Universal Blush, 4 gram full size container.  I love this blush!  It is the perfect colour for me, even now that I might have a hint of summer colour on my face (probably not, but it’s possible).   The blush works with your skin’s natural chemistry to create a colour that will give you that perfect glow.  Here’s what they say about the blush on the So Susan website:

A micronized, jet-milled blush that works with your skin’s natural chemistry to create a universal healthy flush that is flattering on all skintones. Made with Buriti Fruit Oil to repair the epidermis and improve skin elasticity.

I like how it goes on and looks just right on my skin without any need to break out a second colour for contouring or highlighting.  There’s just a touch of shimmer in the blush, so it gives you just a nice subtle glow that doesn’t look over the top or too shiny.  I also like that it is free from mineral oil, phthalates, and fragrance.  Plus, no animal testing.  They’ve added Pink Kaolin Clay into the blush, so that you can use it if you have sensitive skins or dry skin, since the clay doesn’t draw oils from the skin.  And if that all wasn’t enough, it is also made with Buriti Fruit Oil to nourish and repair the epidermis as well as improve the skin’s elasticity, plus it is also known to reduce redness and offer sun protection from harmful UV rays.  It’s obviously a hard working blush. And of course, it looks great on too.  I’ve found myself reaching for this all the time now because the colour is so nice.

You can buy this directly from So Susan Cosmetics via their website for  £17.95; free shipping on orders over £50.00.  I’m not positive, but I think you can only buy it directly from So Susan actually.  I haven’t been able to find it at Amazon, FeelUnique, Boots, or anyplace else either.  I would say that the Universal Blush is comparable to the Stila Custom Colour Blush (5 grams) that you can buy at FeelUnique for £13.00, which I also have.  The So Susan blush is a bit more expensive, but I like the formulation better and the colour and result on your cheek is just more flattering.  While I was on the So Susan website, I did a quick look around and have to say that they have a great selection of gift sets and products at pretty reasonable prices too. I will definitely have to check out the website in more detail next time I’m looking for some cosmetics.

QV Skin Lotion
QV Skin Lotion

QV Skin Lotion, 15ml sample bottle.  As I’ve mentioned a number of times on here, I’ve got a bit of a picky skin situation.  I have a little problem with eczema on my hands especially, and my skin usually flips out and gets a nasty outbreak (red, scaly, gross looking rashy type thing) when I change lotion or use certain products, but luckily not with the QV Lotion.  The QV line of skincare products was created by dermatologists for everyday use by everyone, even those with skin issues.  The QV products are all suitable, and gentle enough, for people with eczema, psorisis, or dermatitis, as well as babies.  Their products are free from sodium lauryl sulphate, fragrance, colour, lanolin, and propylene glycol.  

I have been using a combination of Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream and L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream for a while now to keep my hands from having eczema issues and that combo has been great.  However, neither of those are exactly low cost and they are both creams which means they have a very thick texture which can take a while to absorb and the Eight Hour Cream can sometimes leave you feeling a bit sticky if you don’t let it absorb or you put too much on.  Plus, I can’t really use either of those for other areas on my body either without it costing a fortune.  So, the QV Lotion is a great alternative to find.  It is a lotion, not a cream, so the texture is pretty light, especially in comparison to the other two products.  It is especially nice for summer because of that lightness since you don’t feel like you have anything on your skin after it absorbs.  And it absorbs into the skin easily and quickly and just leaves you skin feeling soft and well moisturized.  I’ve also read that you can use this to remove makeup but I haven’t tried that since I have plenty of great products for that purpose.  However, if you have really sensitive skin on your face you might want to try this out as a makeup remover.

I’m thrilled that this hasn’t caused my skin an issue, especially after I saw how reasonably priced it is.  I can buy a big 500ml pump bottle of this at Amazon for just £9.45, and it is a Prime item, so if you have Amazon Prime you can get it shipped to your front door by the next day for free.  Glossybox directs you to purchase it from Crawford Healthcare, where the 500ml bottle is a bit higher at £9.61 or you can get a 250ml bottle for £6.06, but you’ll have to pay around £5.00 for shipping, so it’s definitely more pricey than Amazon when that is included.

Schwarzkopf go2b Rise 'n Shine Soufflé
Schwarzkopf go2b Rise ‘n Shine Soufflé

Schwarzkopf got2b Rise ‘n Shine Soufflé, 100ml full size container.  Rise n’ Shine is a new line from got2b that is supposed to give you lots of textured volume while still allowing your hair to be sleek and shiny.  The texture of the soufflé is light, as you would expect, and it has a nice fruity kind of smell.  The product is a little sticky feeling on your hands but doesn’t seem to feel that way on your hair.  I have curly hair, unless I blow it out, and I have used it to give my curl a bit more volume while keeping the flyaways at bay.  That flyaway, furry look can happen quite a bit here in London because of the humidity, so I’m always looking for something that will help my hair stay shiny and tame that frizzy humidity look.  I’d say that this had okay results, it isn’t great but it isn’t horrible either.  It did work much better/effectively when I blew my hair out.  The Rise ‘n Shine managed to give it some extra oomph while still keeping my hair shiny.  If you want really big volume you can work a bit into your roots too.  I have found that this works really great if you want to put your hair up because you can keep it still really natural looking but the texturizing properties of this product makes your hair stay put much better that shellacking it into place using hairspray.  I do like that you can get good volume, but still have some shine, and not have to involve hairspray.  I’m not a huge fan of hairspray in summer, it just seems to get sticky or weird feeling.

This is a pretty inexpensive hair product that you can pick up at places like Boots or Superdrug.  Right now you can get the Rise ‘n Shine Soufflé at Boots for just £2.00 for the 100ml tub; they’re having a 1/3 off sale so it is normally £3.00.  At Superdrug it is £3.99 regularly, but right now you can get two selected Schwarzkopf products for £5.00.  Seems like a better deal at Boots.  I doubt I’ll buy this again, but it is nice to have a little variety in my hair product lineup.

Nip+Fab CC Eye Fix
Nip+Fab CC Eye Fix

Nip+Fab CC Eye Fix, 1.8ml full size dispenser.  I’ve heard a lot about how great Nip+Fab products are, so I was really looking forward to trying this out.  And what woman my age, doesn’t want something that will make their eye area look better?  Unfortunately, my relationship with this product didn’t start off on a good foot.  This is one of those pen type dispensers with a little brush on one end, where the product comes out, and you twist the other end to get the product to actually come out.  Well, I don’t know if I got a bum applicator or what but I twisted and twisted and twisted and twisted and kept doing it for way more twists than I should have needed before anything came out.  And even then, barely any product made its way into the brush area; I could just see the barest hint of colour.  So, I twisted some more and even shook it a bit.  I was holding it with the bristles pointing down too, to try to get some help from gravity.  I finally managed to get some of it out but it was at the point where I was ready to just chuck it right into the bin.  I’ve had a couple of other products with this same type of pen applicator that you twist or click to get the product to come out, and none of them has worked so poorly.  So, yeah, not an auspicious start.

The actual product, once I could get any out, is pretty good but not outstanding.  CC Eye Fix is an eye cream and concealer in one.  It’s  made with oat extract and light diffusing pigments which are supposed to brighten and lift the appearance of the eye area.  It also contains beeswax to help protect the delicate, thin skin under the eyes.  I think it does do the brightening and refreshing part but where I think it falls down is in longevity.  Something about the formulation starts to settle into the fine lines that we all have under our eyes (unless you’re super young, but then you are probably not using this), after a couple of hours, which doesn’t look so great.  I tried it with a very light powder over it to see if that would help and it did seem to stop the settling a bit.  I’ll try a few different methods of application to see if I can get better results though.  Unfortuantely, the product doesn’t really work so spectacularly that it can overcome the truly annoying packaging issues for me.

You can find Nip+Fab directly through their own website.  The CC Eye Fix is £9.95 from them.  However, you can also get it at Superdrug for that same price normally, though right now you can get it for 50% off, so £4.97.  You can also find it at Boots and Amazon, but it is a better deal at Superdrug.

Teeez Trend Cosmetics Flat Eyeshadow Brush
Teeez Trend Cosmetics Flat Eyeshadow Brush

Teeez Trend Cosmetics, Beautiful Flat Stiff Brush, full size.  Um, yeah, I’m not really a fan of the decorative motif on the handle of this brush.  At all.  The brush is nice enough, but the design is not.  I think it is the disembodied eyes that freak me out and make it unappealing to me.  The bristles on the end of the brush are quite soft and made from natural hair.  The bristles are short enough that they don’t have a lot of fluff to them, so this is great for putting your eye shadow just where you want it.  I think this is a little more gentle feeling than the other eye shadow brushes that I have with this same flat and stiff (ish) design.  I would like it better if the handle were a either shorter or longer though because at least for me it is a bit of an awkward length.  Of course, if it were longer there’d be more of the ugly, creepy design, so I guess shorter would be my preference.

Glossybox says that you can find this brush at Nelly.com for €19.00, however, I wasn’t able to find it at all.  Nelly.com does have a lot of other products from Teeez, so maybe I’m just somehow not looking in the right place or something.  I also haven’t been able to track it down anyplace else either, so I’m at a bit of a loss on where to tell people to look if they want this brush.  I think you can find makeup brushes that are just as good, or better, at a host of places from a wide range of brands, and they won’t have the ugly design on them.

Glossybox Anniversary Treat: Green & Black's Organic Dark Chocolate
Glossybox Anniversary Treat: Green & Black’s Organic Dark Chocolate

How do the numbers stack up for the box this month?  Here is the breakdown:

  • So Susan Cosmetics, Universal Blush, 4 gram full size container: £17.95 value.
  • QV Skin Lotion, 15ml sample bottle: £0.29 value.
  • Schwarzkopf got2b Rise ‘n Shine Soufflé, 100ml full size container: £3.oo value.
  • Nip+Fab CC Eye Fix, 1.8ml full size dispenser: £9.95 value.
  • Teeez Trend Cosmetics, Beautiful Flat Stiff Brush, full size: £15.08 value.
  • Total Value: £46.27

Overall this was a pretty good Glossybox, like every month there are some hits and some misses.  Thankfully, this month was much more hit than miss in my opinion.  The price of the So Susan blush that I really love, more than covers the price of my Glossybox subscription for the month, so I’m really happy with the value of the June box.   Plus, I got an extra little chocolate treat.

I think I’m going to post a little review of how well the Glossybox subscription has worked out for me this past year.  I know that there are several new products that have been introduced to me through my Glossybox subscription that I have gone on to buy, so that is great.  I just want to be a little more exacting about it all.

We’re All Moved….Except for the Organizing

Well, it has taken me longer than I thought it would to get moved, unpacked and most things even put away.  Plus, we didn’t have broadband here at the new flat until late last week!  I didn’t realize how much I depend on the Internet until I could only access it with spotty coverage from my mobile phone.  Yikes!  But finally we feel like we are settling in to the new flat and hopefully a few more days of organizing will get things in hand.

Since moving can be so stressful, I decided that I needed a bit of a reward, so I did a little shopping at FeelUnique.com and have a few things on their way to me as I type.  I didn’t get anything that exciting, but they were things I’ve been wanting to try.  So, here’s what I got:

As you can tell from this combination, I’m trying rather hard to get my skin to look a bit better, more even and less splotchy.  My skin has been looking pretty lousy lately, I’m not sure if it is just the stress from moving or (more likely) the lousy eating habits I’ve had for the last couple of weeks.  Well, and I haven’t been exercising either.  Given all of that, it’s not surprising that my skin looks so horrible, I guess.  Of course, I also have a few pigmentation problems from past sunburns and such.  I’ve decided that it is best to do something more long term to conquer the pigmentation problems as well as the natural dullness that comes with getting older.  In concert with that, I’m also trying to find a really great concealer for the splotchiness and the dark circles under my eyes.  Hopefully, this will help my skin look beautiful and lovely and not like I have a bunch of makeup piled on my face covering yucky skin.

I’ve read really good things about the Lancome DreamTone Dark Spot Corrector and I truly hope it lives up to all the hype.  You have to pick from three different skin tones – fair, medium, and dark.  Presumably/hopefully, this is because they are truly targeting things differently for the different skin tones.  In a test with 209 women they found that:

  • 70% saw a visible reduction in Dark Spots.
  • 84% saw a visible improvement in Skin Tone.
  • 80% saw a visible reduction in Colour Irregularities.

All of that sounds really great and makes me quite hopeful.  I’m going to do some photos so that I can track its effectiveness and then write up a post or two to let everyone know if it actually seems to work or not.  But I’m definitely keeping my fingers crossed!

As far as the concealers go, I read a lot of reviews and information.  I ended up choosing two that seemed to get good reviews and were in two different price ranges.  Certainly it would be great if the cheaper choice from theBalm worked really well and was a great option because who doesn’t like paying less for things that work well really.  And it does get really great reviews.  However, so does the Dior product, which is almost twice as much, naturally.  I can’t wait to see which concealer works best for me and my skin.

The other great thing that I discovered when I placed my order is that FeelUnique.com is now offering three free samples with your order of £30.00 or more.  And not only that, but you get to choose!  I was able to choose my three free samples from a selection of six.  Three were perfume and three were skin care products.  I’m not big on wearing perfume, so I went for the skincare products:

I love being able to try new things and these little samples are the perfect way to do that.  I’m really pleased that FeelUnique.com started doing this because they are more top choice for purchasing cosmetics, skin care, and hair products.  So, you can get three samples and free shipping. How can you not like that?

As a result of moving, my new project is organizing all of my makeup, skin care, hair products, and such.  I’ve been keeping all of my stuff in a couple of makeup bags for more than nine months while we were, so it will be great to have them out where I can actually see what I have.  Plus, I was reunited with all of the things I had in storage.  I found a few brand new things that I had forgotten about even.  It was almost like Christmas or my birthday!  It’s hard to find something that will keep things covered that require that but also make things nicely accessible and easy to find.  I’m still searching for the perfect thing though.  So far my favourite solution is a toolbox.  Yes, like you would keep a hammer and screw driver in normally.  It’s certainly not glamorous but they have the right type of compartments and can keep everything together in one handy place.  But I’m still looking for something that might be more girlie.

Lancome’s Teint Miracle Perfecting Concealer Pen

Lancome Teint Miracle Perfector Concealer Pen

This perfecting concealer pen really is multi-functional for you because it certainly works wonders on under eye darkness, as well as covers up blemishes of all varieties, plus it is great as an illuminator or highlighter.   And it does all of that really well, without feeling clumpy or heavy on your skin or looking greasy.  As a result of all that, this is one of my favourite items in my makeup kit now.  It’s as great as the Teint Miracle foundation, but it’s in this handy little pen-sized container, so you can easily take it with you in your purse, or even a pocket, for touch-ups.

When I originally got this, I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to like the pen form factor but it is really quite handy and very usable.  When you remove the cap, you see a little brush head, which is obviously where the product comes out.  This is a pretty clever idea because you’ve got concealer and brush all in one, so you don’t even have to get anything on your fingertips if you’re in a hurry.  To get the concealer to come out you push down on the other end which is a bit like a ballpoint pen really.  When the pen is brand new it will take a  few pumps to get the product to come out, but after that you should need just one pump to get a pretty good amount to come gently out of the end.  Don’t worry, it doesn’t squirt out or anything, it just kind of seeps into the brush part and you can barely notice it but it is there and ready to use.  I have made the mistake (so you won’t have to) of giving it a couple of pumps and that was just too much product for one application; so don’t do that!  Luckily, it blends so easily that I didn’t end up with a face full of concealer or anything horrible.  I actually don’t think anyone else would have noticed.

The ability for the concealer to blend in is certainly one of the things that makes it so great. I have found that if I use the brush on the end to get the product where I want it and then just pat it ever so lightly with my fingertips it blends right in and looks natural but definitely offers good coverage for all of your issues.  It’s really great for under eye darkness because it is a very light product with enough moisture to make it not emphasize lines or wrinkles.  We’ve all used under eye concealers that are too heavy or dry and just end up settling in the fine lines around the eye area and make you look worse than when you started.  It’s this same lightness that makes it work well for covering blemishes too.  It doesn’t make things look worse, but just kind of makes them blend in with the rest of your skin.

As a highlighter, I find this so easy to use and less ‘showy’, or obvious, than some of the other options you might try.  It highlights, sort of by magic it seems, because you don’t really notice it but it seems to brighten up the areas that you want to highlight, such as the area around your ‘cupid’s bow’ or across your brow bone, or even down the center of your nose to make your nose appear slimmer.  What really amazes me is that it works this way, but also covers blemishes and doesn’t just highlight them too.  Though, when I used it as a concealer, I used it under my foundation and as a highlighter I used it over it, so I guess that is probably the difference.

I also use the Teint Miracle foundation and the two products obviously work beautifully together, but it is amazing how truly beautiful and luminous they make your skin look.  I’m not sure what Lancome has in the formulation but it covers wonderfully without feeling heavy or even noticeable on your skin and it definitely doesn’t feel greasy or dry.  But it is the way it lightens everything up that is really cool.   I was amazed the first time I used them because my face looked incredible, in a way that it hasn’t in a few years, for sure.

Three concealer colours for you to choose from

I use the Peche Lumiere (02) colour in the corrector pen, which works hand-in-hand with the Lys Rose (02) colour for the foundation.  I’m not sure that I would have picked out the perfect colours for my skin tone because I almost always find that more challenging that I think it should be.  However, I went to the Lancome skin expert at Harrod’s and she set me up with the perfect colours, as well as all of the right choices from their skin care line too.  If you haven’t been to your Lancome skin care expert near you, I would really suggest it.  She analyzed my skin with some cool little machine and gave me a facial with all of the products that she suggested for my skin type.  But since they have such a full line up, you also get some input into what kind of stuff you like, so it is quite personalized, I think.  In any case, she also told me what colours of the foundation and concealer pen to buy and was spot on with her suggestions.

I purchased my Lancome Teint Miracle Perfecting Concealer Pen from FeelUnique.com, but obviously you could get it at your favourite Lancome retailer.  At FeelUnique the pen is £26.00 for 2.5 ml, unfortunately, they were having a sale recently but that’s over now now.  I was kind of bummed because I was going to buy a replacement to keep on hand since it was a bit less with the sale, however, they were out of my colour.  Isn’t that the way it always works out?  But even paying the full £26.00 it is totally worth it and I won’t hesitate to get it again.  Right now if you buy £50.00 worth of Lancome from their site though, you get a very nice gift of several products from the Hydra Zen collection worth £70.00.  So, it might be the perfect time to try out the great Teint Miracle Perfecting Pen and one or two of your other favoured Lancome products.